AMC, Universal Ink Pivotal Deal to Shrink Exclusivity Window

Hollywood film studio Universal Pictures and AMC Theatres, which operates more than 8,000 screens in the U.S., signed a historic multi-year agreement to allow Universal’s films to launch on video-on-demand only 17 days after their theatrical debuts, breaking the long-standing industry norm of 90 days between the two releases. Universal may, however, let tentpole movies play exclusively in movie theaters beyond 17 days. According to Universal Filmed Entertainment Group chair Donna Langley, “the theatrical experience continues to be the cornerstone of our business.” Continue reading AMC, Universal Ink Pivotal Deal to Shrink Exclusivity Window

With Free Hollywood Films, YouTube Evolves into TV Network

Last month, YouTube began showing free, ad-supported Hollywood movies including “The Terminator” and “Legally Blonde,” an offering it began to promote in the site’s movie section. Although users have been able to purchase prime-time TV shows and feature films there, this is the first time YouTube has offered a free, ad-supported option. YouTube director of product management Rohit Dhawan would not disclose the terms of the agreement with studios, but noted the movies represent an opportunity for users and advertisers. Continue reading With Free Hollywood Films, YouTube Evolves into TV Network

Consumer Groups Say Next Gen TV Standard Ignores Privacy

The FCC is scheduled to vote today on the long-awaited ATSC 3.0 broadcast standard. On the eve of the vote, privacy advocates have expressed concern that the standard allows broadcasters to harvest data about individual viewing habits so that advertisers can target their pitches, and there are no rules governing how broadcasters handle the data. In its 109-page proposal for the new rule, the FCC does not mention the issue of privacy. Broadcasters perceive the rule as a way to catch up to Facebook, YouTube, Amazon Prime and others. CTA president Gary Shapiro defends the standard and suggests the vote is being politicized due to the Sinclair-Tribune merger proposal. Continue reading Consumer Groups Say Next Gen TV Standard Ignores Privacy

YouTube Aims to Deliver TV Everywhere With Smart TV App

Eight months after launching YouTube TV on smartphones, the company now has an app for smart TVs, set-top boxes, and game consoles, all of which will work with a remote. The idea, says YouTube, is that this TV service will successfully ape the traditional TV experience even as it has a native Internet feel. The focus on live TV will give the viewer something to watch immediately. Instead of icons, the user can browse through content until she finds something she wants to watch — and then start over again if she’s bored. Continue reading YouTube Aims to Deliver TV Everywhere With Smart TV App

Hulu Readies Spring Launch of Its Live Streaming TV Service

Hulu’s live TV service, say sources, scheduled to launch this spring, will likely be priced at $39.99 per month, although a company spokesperson said that prices have not yet been finalized. The new live TV service, which will include access to Hulu Originals and on-demand content as well as live network broadcasts and broadcast networks’ on-demand content, will enter a crowded market, competing with Sling TV, DirectTV Now, YouTube TV, PlayStation Vue and other streaming services. Continue reading Hulu Readies Spring Launch of Its Live Streaming TV Service

LG Introduces First ATSC 3.0-Enabled TV for Winter Olympics

At CES 2017, LG Electronics introduced the first ATSC 3.0-enabled 4K UHD TVs for South Korea, which will begin deploying the new broadcast standard in anticipation of the 2018 Winter Olympics. The new 2017 models, which will go on sale in the spring, will have both ATSC 3.0 and ATSC 1.0 tuners. At CES, LG demonstrated a 65-inch LED TV with an embedded second-generation ATSC 3.0 tuner displaying 4K UHD HDR programming. The company also showed ATSC 3.0’s “advanced electronic service guide” capabilities. Continue reading LG Introduces First ATSC 3.0-Enabled TV for Winter Olympics

ETC Members Offered Major Discount on Digital Media Pipeline

The Entertainment Merchant’s Association is offering ETC members a 50 percent discount on registration to its Digital Media Pipeline conference, taking place October 14 at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles. This year’s event — which runs $198 with the discount — will focus on the delivery of digital entertainment, including electronic sell-through, transactional VOD, subscription VOD and ad-supported VOD. Studio execs, digital retailers and service and tech providers will discuss the latest trends in online entertainment. To take advantage of EMA’s offer, visit the Non-Member Registration page and enter Discount Code 904. Continue reading ETC Members Offered Major Discount on Digital Media Pipeline

ETC Members Offered Major Discount on Digital Media Pipeline

The Entertainment Merchant’s Association is offering ETC members a 50 percent discount on registration to its Digital Media Pipeline conference, taking place October 14 at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles. This year’s event — which runs $198 with the discount — will focus on the delivery of digital entertainment, including electronic sell-through, transactional VOD, subscription VOD and ad-supported VOD. Studio execs, digital retailers and service and tech providers will discuss the latest trends in online entertainment. To take advantage of EMA’s offer, visit the Non-Member Registration page and enter Discount Code 904. Continue reading ETC Members Offered Major Discount on Digital Media Pipeline

Streaming Services Send Hotel Room VOD to Chopping Block

As hotels in the U.S. continue to offer faster Internet connections, an increasing number of guests are more inclined to stream video content via popular services such as Netflix, Amazon and Hulu than opt for in-house video-on-demand. As a result, hotels are beginning to experience a significant decline in VOD use. Some have recently cut their adult-themed VOD content, and may eventually do the same with other on-demand offerings. However, this may not be the end of video-on-demand in hotels if providers make their services more competitive. Continue reading Streaming Services Send Hotel Room VOD to Chopping Block

Paramount Shortens Release Date from Movie Theater to DVD

Paramount Pictures has inked a deal with two major theater chains to release two upcoming films on DVD just two weeks after they leave theaters, a significant change to the traditional schedule. Since the 1980s, and the advent of the VCR, studios have waited at least 90 days, so this new deal marks a real break with the status quo. The Viacom-owned movie studio has partnered with AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. and Canada’s Cineplex Inc., two of North America’s largest exhibitors. Continue reading Paramount Shortens Release Date from Movie Theater to DVD

Survey Says Viewers Won’t Pay More Than $10 to Stream Movie

A survey by RBC Capital Markets found that consumers are not willing to pay any more than they already do to stream a movie on opening weekend. Eighty-seven percent of consumers will not pay more than $10 to stream a movie on the same day it is released in theaters. That’s bad news for Hollywood studios that are trying to make more money with same-day video-on-demand releases. Most of the survey respondents also said that a VOD release would have no effect on their choice to go to theaters. Continue reading Survey Says Viewers Won’t Pay More Than $10 to Stream Movie

Streaming TV Services Look to Bypass Internet Congestion

While the FCC has proposed that broadband companies cannot accept payments for access to an Internet fast lane, some streaming TV services want to be classified as “managed services,” much like digital phone services. This gray area of the net neutrality rules may provide media companies a fast lane opportunity. The FCC allows cable and phone companies to operate managed services, such as digital phone services or video-on-demand, on a special bandwidth so that consumers do not experience dropped calls or video buffering. Continue reading Streaming TV Services Look to Bypass Internet Congestion

Machinima Creators to Sell Videos on Vimeo Through New Deal

Popular multichannel network Machinima has signed a deal with Vimeo to help develop and distribute original content. Vimeo has pledged at least $500,000 to the network’s audience-developed original videos for an exclusive Machinima channel on the video on-demand platform. As part of the agreement, Vimeo will become the preferred transactional video-on-demand platform for Machinima’s 30,000 creators. These creators produce some 30,000 hours of content each month. Continue reading Machinima Creators to Sell Videos on Vimeo Through New Deal

David Cross Partners with BitTorrent for Distribution of “HITS”

Starting this Friday, viewers will be able to name their price to see “HITS,” the latest feature film from actor/director David Cross. Rather than pursue a traditional distribution deal, Cross and his producing team opted to partner with BitTorrent. They felt that the indie film deserved to be showcased differently than a push into select cities with a VOD release to follow. According to Cross, the flexible pay option, which will run for two weeks, is an approach he hopes will help eliminate piracy of the film. Continue reading David Cross Partners with BitTorrent for Distribution of “HITS”

Vimeo Announces Launch of its New VOD Publisher Network

Streaming video platform Vimeo announced during the Sundance Film Festival yesterday that it has launched a new publisher network for content creators to reach their audiences directly. The Vimeo On Demand Publisher Network will provide partners with the ability to rent or sell premium, ad-free content from the Vimeo library via a transactional video player. While Vimeo already allows publishers to embed content on other sites, partners can now sell videos directly on their sites within articles or from VOD storefronts. Continue reading Vimeo Announces Launch of its New VOD Publisher Network

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